Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More From Japan (and New Hampshire)

I showed Tonko's work last week.

Her Japanese quilt friend Jun wrote in a comment:
"She treats inches as centimeters to make blocks. For example, she makes 5 inch block as 5cm block. Which means she makes a 5 inch block less than 2 inches.
and she is sewing all by hand. I did some of your past projects with her, I am always amazed by her work."

In putting all this cross-cultural quilting together I see her friend does a blog as Bear Necessities and uses the names Daisyusanh and usnhjun. And on her instagram page "Jun living in New Hampshire."

I've been keeping track of Jun's Yankee Diary blocks too through her Instagram posts. Love her fabric choices and her photo set-ups.

I rather randomly clicked on links on Bear Necessities and found some interesting pictures.

Jun has been making my BOM's for years. I am so pleased

And then there are some other intriguing series patterns....

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Quilts at the Lee's Arlington House

Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial,
has a few quilts in their collection.

Arlington House under Union occupation by Robert Knox Sneden.
Virginia Historical Society. The house was built about 1810.

The Virginia plantation mansion in Arlington Heights was the family home of Mary Custis Lee, wife of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Once Lee decided to fight for the South, the Lees abandoned their home so close to the Union capitol. The home is now a National Parks Service site, open to visitors, adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington D.C.

I couldn't find any cataloguing information on the quilts so we don't know to whom they are attributed. Are they Lee family quilts? Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee (1808-1873) is known to have made quilts.

Two or three from the collection look as if they might be pre-Civil-War, particularly this tulip with its
stuffed work quilting.

And this double four-patch with a chintz border.

Apparently the quilts are often exhibited on the beds so if
you visit Arlington House you may be lucky enough to see them.

Union troops and their families on the steps of Arlington House
Library of Congress.

General Samuel Heintzelman occupied the Lee's home immediately after the Civil War began. He and his wife had visited the Lees there a few weeks earlier where Mary Lee showed them the "old-fashioned house" and they admired the view.

The majority of the quilts look to be post-Civil-War.
A solid pink fabric indicates a 20th century date.

And red & white quilts in the Hearts & Gizzards design tend
to be after 1880.

Photo from a 1950 guidebook

Read more about the history of Arlington House here:

And more about Mary Custis Lee's quilts at these two posts:

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Yankee Diary in Japan

Tonko at the blog ThistlyRoom from Japan has been keeping up with the Yankee Diary BOM. I just came across her blog and was thrilled to see her interest in American series patterns.

Block 1
Tulip & Liberty

I can read only a few words on her blog---those in English. She also goes by the name Mixed T.

She is quite an embroiderer. Over on the right on the blog you can see an index to her stitching projects. She's done several of Barb & Alma's Blackbird Designs pieces.

Block 2
Susan B's Star

  Block 3
Double Ties

Block 4
Right Makes Might

Since I cannot read much there I cannot tell you what size her blocks are.

UPDATE: Jun commented:
"She treats inches as centimeters to make blocks. For example, she makes 5 inch block as 5cm block. Which means she makes a 5 inch block less than 2 inches.
and she is sewing all by hand. I did some of your past projects with her, I am always amazed by her work."

Block 4
Union Basket

Look at this one in relation to the alphabet print
and the red and white stripe.

Block 6
Heart & Hand

Block 7
Valentine for Noah Clarke's Brother


Do look at her blog and all her amazing work.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Mary Carswell's Second GAR Quilt

Mary Carswell wasn't much of a speller but
you have to give her credit for advocating
"Eqal Wrights" 
on her 1887 Civil War Commemorative quilt.

"Made by Mrs. N. W. Carswell, Waterbury, Conn., 1887"
Collection of the Hudson River Museum.
Picture from Safford & Bishop's 1973 book, pp. 302-3

1885            1888

This is Mary's second quilt made of corps badges and other memorabilia from the veterans' organizations. The first dated 1885 is in the collection of the Mattatuck Museum in Connecticut.

Mary Carswell, born about 1820, was married to Union Veteran Norman Williams Carswell (1819-1898.) He joined the 15th Vermont Infantry in September 1862, which went to Washington to defend the city and then on to Manassas and Gettysburg.

Norman W. Caswell died with "Nothing"
in 1898

One problem with uncovering information about the quiltmaker is the variable spelling of her married name. Her Vermont-born husband is listed as Carswell or Caswell. One can imagine that Vermonters pronounced both spellings as Cahz-well. He's buried as Norman Carswell in Waterbury, Connecticut but listed on the Union Soldiers Memorial in Wheelock, Vermont as Norman Caswell.

The Bombardment of Fort Sumter

Mary earned a mention in 1899 as the oldest member attending a Connecticut convention of the Women's Relief Corps, the W.R.C. She was "seventy-nine years old. This woman is the owner of a quilt which is a curiosity, as in its construction she has made use of various army corps badges, G.A.R badges, W.R.C. badges and other emblems and mementoes prized by old soldiers, and which she has loaned to various G.A.R. gatherings....."

Only one quilt is mentioned, perhaps this one the second.

The top embroidery is "Sunset View of Fort Sumpter Before the Bombardment"
The bottom: "The Penalty of Treason is Death."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Star Quilts from Threads of Memory

Cathy's Star-stravaganza

A Note from Pat Styring in Florida:

"The St Augustine Piecemakers enjoyed making your 2014 BOM, Threads of Memory during 2016-7.

Pat's version

Razzle Dazzle Stars by Martha

There were 45 members who began the 12 block project and over half completed the quilt top in a year. 

 We called it our 'Star-stravaganza' project due to your wonderful new star blocks. At the end we staged a star party for the entire guild.

For Benjamin by Laura
I can see Laura substituted some stars, which is fine with me.

Thanks for the fun!"

Thanks, Pat, for the note:
Here's a link to the star block post links:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Hopkins Family Trials & Troubles

 Private Charles Sanford Hopkins.  
Tinted salt-print photograph.
Virginia Historical Society 2012.109.1

Charles Sanford Hopkins was a member of the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, known as DuryĆ©e’s Zouaves.  The Virginia Historical Society received this portrait of Hopkins with his Zouave uniform, letters and other personal effects in a 2012 gift.

His parents Charles Hopkins and Elizabeth Sanford Jennings Hopkins kept the package of his belongings after their son died of pneumonia at Chesapeake General Hospital in Hampton, Virginia, on April 28, 1862.

The War was exceptionally miserable for the Hopkinses. Charles was their second son to die. His brother William, a member of New York's 48th Infantry died 6 months earlier at Hilton Head of a similar ailment. Baby Emma died at 18 months in 1864.

Elizabeth seems to have given birth to nine children. Only one survived beyond the age of 25.
Daughter Eliza Willis Hopkins Hutchinson (1840-1930) lived to be 80. Elizabeth died in 1904 at 80 also. Many family members are buried in the Sea View Cemetery in Suffolk County, New York.

Why this one story out of many sad tales of Civil War mothers?  Elizabeth Jennings Hopkins left a quilt, one block of which inspired the July Yankee Diary block.

Album Quilt
Elizabeth Sanford Jennings Hopkins, American, 1824-1904
Denver Art Museum

Elizabeth Jennings was born in Fairfield, Connecticut and married Charles Hopkins in 1841.

They lived in Port Jefferson on Long Island, New York. I spent my younger years near Huntington, not far from Port Jefferson. so I am always interested in Long Island album quilts.

Elizabeth's seems to be the only signature on the quilt.
She may have made all the blocks. Her star with a heart block above.

On the left a clock shelf and a glass-fronted clock
with a floral painting.

References to sailing and shipbuilding, the industries of Port Jefferson in the 19th century: A sailboat and light house, mariner's compass and a sea gull perhaps.

Port Jefferson in the early 20th century

So much promise in a life before the beginning of the Civil War; so much loss after.
More on Dureya's Zouaves
and quilts with zouaves

The Sea View graveyard